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Piers Morgan Tonight

News/Business. (2013)

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CNN

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01:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 16, Angie 6, George Zimmerman 6, Us 6, Florida 4, New York 4, United Nations 3, Ben Affleck 3, Neil 3, Piers 3, Alan Dershowitz 3, Jane Velez-mitchell 2, Mark O'mara 2, Trayvon 2, Trayvon Martin 2, Tony Mendez 2, Jane 2, Matt 2, Lobsterfest 2, Tyco Integrated Security 2,
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  CNN    Piers Morgan Tonight    News/Business.  (2013)  

    February 26, 2013
    9:00 - 10:00pm PST  

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nd ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion.
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tonight i promised you i'll stay on this and i meant it.
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guns in america. the courageous father who lost his son at sandy hook and made it his mission to ban the weapon. >> get a lot of lead out quick. >> what he'll say on capitol hill tomorrow. also the pizzeria owner who gives a 15% discount to anybody packing heat. why do you want your pizzeria full of people armed to the teeth. >> it actually makes me feel more safe. >> two of the most shocking crime cases america has ever seen. new york's cannibal cop and arizona's jodi arias accused of killing her boyfriend, stabbing him 27 times, slashing his throat and shooting him in the head. and the real hero behind best picture "argo". >> i'm proud of the people who worked on the movie. >> my exclusive with the man who inspired the best picture of the oscars. this is "piers morgan tonight." good evening.
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you're looking live at capitol hill where a few hours from now the senate will hold its first hearing on dianne feinstein's assault weapons ban. that ban would outlaw 150 kinds of military assault style weapons and magazines. if you watched this show lately, you know exactly where i stand. i think the ban would be a good thing for america, but its passage is not insured. the shooter in sandy hook used a bushmaster assault rifle with a 30-round magazine. many magazines were on his possession. joining me is neil heslin. he's in washington to meet with members of congress about the assault weapons ban. this is his friend whose son was killed just days before sandy hook during a home invasion near clemson university. welcome to you both. i just want to say from the outset that you were friends from high school in connecticut. you've known each other a very long time. joined in this awful way by the death of your children.
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neil, let me start with you. tomorrow's a big day for the assault weapons ban, for the ban that's trying to go through on high capacity magazines and so on. where do you feel this debate is now in america? >> i don't know on that. i still believe that there has to be a ban in place for assault rifles and the high capacity magazines. >> steven, you've also lost a child, as i said, to gun violence. this is a debate that is raging all over america. it's extremely emotive. i can't think of two more appropriate people to be talking about this publicly than you and neil. what do you hope to achieve by what happens tomorrow? >> i hope to achieve, for people to be responsible fully for what weapons they own.
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if they own a weapon that's used by another individual because they didn't put the gun up safely where it belongs, they need to be responsible for that weapon. >> neil, i'm about to interview somebody. it's an interview i recorded earlier. somebody who runs a pizza restaurant. and he's offering a 15% discount to any customers who turn up at his restaurant armed with guns. to me, this is a preposterous situation, but i'm interested in your reaction as the father of somebody who lost a child to gun violence, what does it say about america that this kind of thing is happening? >> what was the -- could you repeat that? >> it's a man who owns a pizza restaurant in virginia, and he's offering discounted pizzas to any customers who turn up armed with a gun.
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his reason being he believes it shows his support for the second amendment. >> well, i don't think the question -- the question's never been about supporting e second amendment. i support the second amendment. the big question has been -- it's just banning the assault weapons. and they have no place in the general population. and on the streets or in the schools that our children are in. and that's the defense everybody keeps talking about, the second amendment, the second amendment. i've never yet once said i'm not in favor of the second amendment. i support the second amendment. and the second amendment also reads well regulated. it's clear that it hasn't been well regulated. if it was, we wouldn't be having the problems and the mass murders and the massacres that we've had such as sandy hook elementary, which took my son jesse's life.
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and there's no reason that should have happened. it's an elementary school. >> no, there isn't. >> they're innocent children. and i just -- i'm devastated. i'm heartbroken over it still. i can't believe my little boy is gone and all that's left is the memories. and i have to be jesse's voice. there were 25 other victims in that school. just unbelievable that it could happen. >> it was an appalling tragedy, neil. i've spoken to you many times. you've become a very powerful, very simple advocate for gun control in america. it's not about gun control. it's about safety. insuring that no more children get blown to pieces.
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and people are susceptible to this gun violence in america. i thank you both for joining me. i wish you all the luck tomorrow. it's an important step in the gun control debate. i wish you luck in achieving something that i think most americans are in favor of. >> thank you, piers. i want to turn to the other side of a gun debate. a pizzeria owner in virginia beach is giving customers a 15% discount if you come in with your firearms. not surprisingly, i'm not a huge fan of this idea. i want to debate it with the owner of all-around pizzas and deli. so explain to me why this is not as dumb as i think it is. >> this is not a dumb idea because the majority of gun holders are responsible people. as you can see behind me, the majority of people behind me are gun holders and there's no death
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or shooting going on. >> yeah, but why do you want your pizzeria full of people armed to the teeth? >> it actually makes me feel more safe. >> why? >> it makes me feel more safe because these are responsible people. and if a criminal decides to do anything funny, i have these people to back me up. >> how do you know the people that are coming to get your discount aren't mentally ill or criminals? >> i guess because they can walk in on their own two feet and they drove here? >> so people who are walk on their own two feet and who can drive a car are not mentally ill or criminals? >> they're innocent until they're proven guilty. >> you say you're doing this to support the second amendment. what do you think is happening -- >> i am. >> -- to the second amendment?
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>> i think it's being eroded. the second amendment says it shall not be infringed yet in 1934 franklin roosevelt signed the first national firearms act. ever since then he's opened pandora's box and we've since then seeing our lights eliminated. we've seen obama talk about forcing us to register our guns and that always precedes confiscation. they want us to volunteer the information that we have a gun and that lets them go directly to our house and collect our gun. >> actually, what he's doing, as you well know, is trying to shut down the loopholes precisely for the reasons that i put to you that you haven't got a clue who is bring these guns into your pizza place. do you know anybody under president obama right now, who is the president, as you know. >> yes. >> do you know anybody who he has asked to remove their gun, to confiscate their gun? >> personally, i don't know
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them. >> because president obama doesn't want to take away anybody's gun. it's a complete myth. >> he might not want to -- >> not a single confiscation of anyone's weapon. he's the president. >> he might not want to take away the guns, but -- >> not one has led to confiscation. >> but future presidents might want to take away our guns. >> you're quite happy for american civilians to march into your restaurant with rocket launcher, arriving in armed tanks and perhaps carrying a few uzi submachine guns, is that your position? >> the thing is i don't trust our government. they can out-firepower we the people even with the weapons we have that are legal if they decided to wage war on the people themself, we would lose in a heartbeat. now they want us just to have shotguns. that makes it even easier for them to do what they want.
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>> let me clarify again because it's important that i understand what you're saying. you believe that your government, president barack obama, may well attack its own people. how are they going to do that with the american military or without the american military? >> it really isn't our government that i'm worried about, it's something bigger than our government. it's the united nations. >> so the united nations is about to attack american people. which part of the united nations do you think is about to launch an attack on the greatest military power that the planet earth has ever seen, that has 5,000 nuclear warheads? which part of the world do you imagine is right now marshaling its troops to invade america? >> i'm not saying they are going to do that. i'm saying we need the second amendment as insurance against them trying anything funny. >> how many of your commerce -- customers share your views, do you think? >> i couldn't tell you a number
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on that. >> i would imagine that the profits you're making from this extremely cynical commercial exercise involving armed people who you have no idea who they are coming to your restaurant will perk up your profits nicely. that's why you're doing it, to make money, isn't it? >> i'm trying to make money because that will -- how it's supposed to work is i can save money, then use it later in life to support me when i put my work into society. >> but your failure to make enough money has nothing to do with your liberty. you're living in one of the great free countries of the world. it has nothing to do with your liberty. >> right. >> there are already 50 gun control measures in america and they're all imminently sensible, but america has 12,000 gun murders a year, 18,000 people kill themselves with guns every year, 100,000 americans get hit with gunfire every year. and every statistic when you have a house, a room dare i say
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your current restaurant with loads of guns around accidents happen and people get shot and killed. that's a reality. it doesn't make anything safer. it makes things more dangerous. >> accidents do happen. i mean, that's life. that's what we have to deal with is accidents happen and there are bad people and there are people on drugs that don't have any control over their body and we have to deal with it because that's real life. car accidents happen every day. people lose their life. it's a tragedy, but it's something that we have to live with. >> how many people have been shot in your restaurant since you've owned it? >> zero. >> zero. so actually there's been no gun threat to your restaurant whatsoever. the only threat now -- >> right. >> -- is because you're encouraging all these people who may or may not be criminals or mentally insane people armed to the teeth with weapons, the likelihood of there being an accident in your place or somebody doing something stupid has massively increased. instead of making your
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restaurant safer going from zero shooting, you've increased the risk of a shooting. that's why i called you an idiot the other night. it's an idiotic premise to work off of. from going from no shootings to encouraging everybody in the area without checking who they are come in armed to the teeth will make your restaurant safer. that's exactly the kind of attitude that is unfortunately causing america, the most hideous gun violence problems. mr. laze, good luck with your promotion. i hope it fails spectacularly. thank you for joining me. >> okay. thank you. >> quite extraordinary. from an idea i hate to one i love. he's creating a private gun buy-back program offering mentorships and even a chance of beyonce tickets to anyone who turns in a gun. great idea. when we come back, george zimmerman's attorney talks to me exclusively on the anniversary
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of trayvon martin's death. the real life spy that inspired "argo." [ male announcer ] julia child became a famous chef at age 51. picasso painted one of his master works at 56. doris taerbaum finished her first marathon at 50. not everyone peaks in their twenties. throughout their lives. passion keeps them realizing possibilities. an ally for real possibilities. aarp.
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we are tyco integrated security. and we are sharper. don't think about the color of the child. think about that child going to school. think about that child hanging out with his father, with his mom, skiing, skateboarding, doing all these fun things that a 17-year-old child does. and then think about that child on his way home to see his father and assault that child has his life taken from him. >> actor jamie foxx at the million hoodie vigil tonight on the one-year anniversary of trayvon martin's death. joining me is mark o'mara. he's the attorney for george zimmerman. the man who shot trayvon martin. we've spoken about this case. i'm aware you're restricted from talking about some of the
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details obviously with an impending trial coming. tell me this, sir, how much is this in the end going to be about stand your ground? because i'm led to believe there is a process called immunity where you can apply for the stand your ground law to be applied, as it is in florida, and if it's successful, there may not even be a trial? >> that's correct. 2005, the legislature changed a couple of things. first they said if you act reasonably and in self-defense, then you can have an immunity hearing. a hearing before a judge to determine if in fact you acted in self-defense, you should not stand trial. you shouldn't even be prosecuted and even shouldn't be arrested. that was one of the changes. the other change that it made -- and this is the one that causes a lot of confusion -- is they added a provision to the statute that said -- and it's known as the stand your ground statute. they say if you are in a situation where you legally can be and you have the ability to retreat before using deadly
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force, you don't have to do that any more in florida. that is the stand your ground. i have said many times that george zimmerman case is not a stand your ground case, not because we're going to avoid the immunity portion of it but the facts don't support that george had an doesn't to retreat and didn't. he just didn't have the opportunity so it's not a stand your ground case. >> i mean, in terms the of a stand your ground law, which now applies in quite a few states in america, the nra aggressively lobbied in florida in particular for this. but since the law came into practice, justifiable homicides have doubled. i mean, this law is just a dangerous farce, isn't it? putting aside this particular case, wouldn't you as a compassionate lawyer just feel that this is just not working? >> well, i'm not saying i agree that justifiable homicides have increased. what's happened is there's been pretrial determinations that a homicide was justifiable so they don't go to trial.
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but if you look at the cases in florida, the 215 or so cases that happened since the law was passed, in two-thirds of those cases immunity was granted. now understand what that means. that the judge looks at a case and says, under our law, you did what you were allowed to do under the statute. now, i will tell you that there was a small percentage of that large spectrum of cases where people truly do actually stand their ground, but we have to be really careful not to confuse the immunity hearing, which includes all self-defense cases in the very small percentage of true stand your ground, that being defined as i could have retreated and i decided not to. that is a difference. >> right. people, as you know, they've been trying to position this also as a form of race trial, that somehow your client racially profiled trayvon martin, that's why he went after him, that is what led to the encounter and trayvon's death. how are you countering that? do you feel in the end that it
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will be seen as that once the trial has been and gone? >> first of all, we're countering it by trying to get out more of the information that should have been out at the beginning. the unique thing about this case is that it was handled in the beginning where a lot of information came to the forefront and was really focused upon that suggested it was in fact a racial event. however, once the fbi got involved, we know that everything that they looked into, they found absolutely no racism. as a matter of fact, they found a lot of events and instances where george was what you might call an absolute nonracist. so the racial overtones early in the case we've been trying to dispel by getting out the rest of the evidence. to answer the rest of your question, my hope -- my fear is that this case is going to be connected to a civil rights victory or loss. my hope is that we will learn to divorce the verdict, whatever that verdict might be, from the
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true questions that need to be answered about the civil rights question, which is, as i've said many time, how are young black males being treated in the system and how can we approach that question? the more people that consider an acquittal of george zimmerman to be a loss for civil rights, the worse for civil rights. >> a lot of this case in the end may well come down to one premise. did george zimmerman pursue trayvon martin against the advice of the police. are you confident from everything that you know that in the end george zimmerman will be seen not to have done that? >> i believe so. i believe, you know, again, the evidence is what it is and that's for a jury to determine. but a close reading or looking at that tape and all the evidence that followed, particularly george's injuries and trayvon's lack of injuries but for the fatal gunshot, suggest that george did not begin the fight, did not continue the fight and actually
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was the victim of the attack rather than the other way around. >> mark o'mara, thank you very much. >> thank you, piers. coming up, the latest on two more extraordinary headline-grabbing trials. i must warn you the details are pretty graphic. the cannibal cop case and the shocking jodi arias murder trial. i'll talk to some of the country's top legal minds about both of these cases. lobsterfest is the king of all promotions. there's nothing like our grilled lobster and lobster tacos. the bar harbor bake is really worth trying. [ male announcer ] get more during red lobster's lobsterfest. with the year's largest selection of mouth-watering lobster entrees. like our delicious lobster lover's dream, featuring two kinds of succulent lobster tails. or our savory, new grilled maine lobster and lobster tacos. it's back, but not for long. [ woman ] our guests go crazy for lobsterfest. my favorite entree is the lobster lover's dream. what's yours? come celebrate lobsterfest and sea food differently.
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plan your getaway at discoverlosangeles.com two shocking crime cases on the docket tonight. i must warn you the details are extremely graphic. in new york the man they're calling the cannibal cop. a police officer accused of plotting to kidnap, murder and cook a series of women including his wife. and in arizona jodi arias is charged with killing her boyfriend stabbing him 27 times, slashing his throat and shooting in the head. i want to start with jane velez-mitchell. jane, i mean, extraordinary case this jodi arias case. just fill me in. for those like me who have sort of not really been following it and suddenly become aware that this woman has been on the stand for 11 extraordinary days of testimony. >> a broadway show. >> what do you make of it?
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>> this is a triple-x-rated case. and she says, yes, i did kill my lover, travis alexander, but i did it because i was a sexually battered and degraded woman who was debased and made to feel like a used piece of toilet paper and a prostitute. and oh, i was forced into all this unwanted anal and oral sex. the prosecutor is showing that she initiated a lot of this kinky s & m sex talk and she really wanted to have sex with tootsie pops. you can do the math on that one. i'm not going to touch that one. but also for example the prosecutor unveiled a text where she's begging travis alexander to do some of the very things that she has previously described on direct as extremely degrading and debasing. so is she really doing a disservice to all women who are truly battered, piers? >> well, let's take a listen to some of the stuff today, which was pretty gruesome, compelling, whatever you want to call it. listen to this.
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>> do you think somebody who masturbates to pictures of little boys is beautiful on the inside, right? >> i don't think that aspect of him is beautiful at all. i think it's sickening. >> it says, travis, you're beautiful on the inside and out, doesn't it? >> yes. >> you were the one that had the ky or brought it into the relationship to make it better, right? >> to facilitate our activities. >> on the other hand, you're telling us, well, i felt like a prostitute. which one is it? >> well, when he -- on my face and walks away, it feels like i was a prostitute. >> i want to bring in linda fairstein, the former head of the manhattan sex crimes unit. also gloria allred and alan dershowitz. personally i've watched her now. i don't believe a word she's saying. i think she has murdered this guy and that's the end of it. but am i missing something? >> i don't think you're missing
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anything at all. i think whether or not the prosecutor's attitude and tone in approaching her is the best one, he's certainly been able to -- to make her out to be a liar. she's certainly changed her position often enough. and changed the facts. and i think to jane's point, when anybody's heard the story of a battered or abused woman or someone in a relationship who has been degraded, this is not that story. disproved by all of the earlier e-mails and correspondence and notes. i think she's lying and has murdered. >> right. let me go to gloria allred. this is the point that i think anger many women is that she's lying through her back teeth and using the cover of somehow being this poor victim of this violent man is really appalling, isn't it? >> it is appalling, piers. i'm very offended by it. but of course, she's fighting for her life. this is a death penalty case.
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she's trying to assert self-defense, which by the way was not her original story. originally it was i wasn't there. then the story changed to it was an intruder who did it. then it changed again to it was self-defense. now it's battered women and experts to come on that. so i think she's really got an uphill climb on that. there are lies and there are damn lies, and i think there are a lot of damn lies coming out of her mouth right now. >> alan dershowitz, i guess the issue for the prosecution is how far do they take what is already one of the longest parts of testimony i can remember in a case. she's been on for 11 days now. are they damaging their case by putting her up there for too long? >> you know, there are two issues that are really being presented at the same time. one, does she have any kind of defense of self-defense? i don't think anybody realistically think she has a chance of being acquitted on self-defense. but the second phase, the death penalty phase, under arizona law -- i've litigated arizona
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death penalty cases in arizona. you get a second shot at the apple if there's been a conviction, but you usually try to create a sympathetic atmosphere during the guilt phase of the case as well. and so they're trying to do that. i think the prosecution is falling into the defense trap. what the defense did was kept her on a long, long time, ten days or so, now they're keeping her on, the prosecution is keeping her on probably too long. they appear to be a little bit bullying. they may be creating a little bit of sympathy among the jury not for a defense but for the death penalty phase of the case. so sometimes less is more. and if i were a prosecutor i would be just focusing on, you stabbed him 27 times, you shot him. even if you didn't like the sex, that's no excuse for killing somebody. that's not what battered women syndrome is all about. let's get the conviction first, then you worry about the death penalty. >> jane velez-mitchell, there's a kind of casey anthony feel to this trial building up, isn't there?
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and to do i think with her personality and the way she's conducting herself in a courtroom with cameras there. would we be going even remotely as we are if she wasn't there on our television screens, do you think? >> well, she is very mesmerizing. you're absolutely right. there's a lot of parallel to casey anthony. all the talking heads thought she would be convicted and she was acquitted. i think they could get this one wrong, too. because the prosecutor is making some mistakes. for example he hammered in on the fact that she had breast implants. whoa, there are women on the jury. many have had breast implants for legitimate reasons. this could break down along gender lines. >> on the other hand, piers, i think the prosecutor is doing a very good job impeaching her, using her own diary, using her own texts, using her own words to the police before she shifted to this new defense she has, relatively new. i think she's in trouble. >> i couldn't agree more.
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>> let's face one reality -- >> very quickly, please. >> she's an attractive young woman. attractive young women don't get the death penalty in america as often as unattractive or men. i think they're playing that angle a little bit as well. >> yeah, i'm sure that's true. jane, for now, thank you very much. my lawyer experts will stay with me. that isn't the most shocking story out in a courtroom. we'll come back with the new york city alleged cannibal cop.
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the case of the cannibal cop has shocd even see it all new yorkers. i want to warn you again about the graphic details. a police officer on trial for plotting to kidnap, kill and eat dozens of women. the defense claims they're just fantasies. deborah feyerick joins me with the latest. a really grisly, grisly case. is this guy just fantasizing or was there enough evidence to suggest he was planning to do this? >> that's what the jurors are going to have to decide.
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was this some crazy fantasy fetish or do the facts show that he was planning to do this? what prosecutors did today was introduced a series of e-mails to try to prove that this cop, this six-year veteran of the nypd actually conspired with others online to kidnap a woman, then cook her, and eat her. they talk about a different body parts, how they're going to basically prep her. make bacon out of her stomach or at one point they're going to cook the feet as she watches and screams in torture and terror. there was a lot of thinking that appears to have gone into this. but valle's lawyer, gilberto valle, his lawyer said this is pure fiction. there's no evidence to suggest that any of this sort of kidnapping was going to take place even though he was online chatting with another man, there was no exchange of real details. so they were sort of existing in this virtual world talking about these virtual crimes, these
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virtual kidnappings. so a lot for the jury to take in because the e-mails are so graphic. at one point he basically says, look, he wants to -- he says, oh, she does look tasty, doesn't she and then says the abduction will have to be flawless. he wants his other online cannibal to pay $5,000 for the privilege of abducting this woman he knows from college. so various details are coming out at this trial and jury listening intently. >> i want to bring back linda fairstein, the head of the manhattan sex crimes unit. linda, a sickening case. the details in these e-mails are utterly revolting, but from your expert eye, looking at this, is it possible that he could just be having lurid, unpleasant fantasies? >> when the internet first became available to everybody and we started to have child pornography on it and exchanges, there were clearly people who are fantasizing and not going to go any further than use that
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pornography in their own homes. and this is a huge challenge in this case. but i do think it's gone further when the wife's testimony today was very graphic about how she discovered this, her efforts to get her child out of the house and get out of the state. you've got the fact that he went on to a new york city police department law enforcement database to try to find some of the women. i mean, he actually took a step that's beyond the fantasy, beyond the internet, beyond just enjoying this in his own room. his wife under his own roof, obviously. but he made contact with two other young woman at least and the prosecutor may have more, one of whom he had brunch with, one of whom he invited to his home in new york for a weekend, and in this conspiracy theory, if they can prove -- if the prosecution is able to prove that he took overt steps to do this, people don't like to hear this, but cannibalism exists. there have been other cases of
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it. i think your other guests tonight know that. it's very repellent to a jury and they may want to think it's a fantasy and the prosecution has a difficult job, but this is as good a case short of a murder that you will find with this fact. >> alan dershowitz, is that enough to be a case as good as a murder? because in reality if they cannot prove that he was genuinely going to do this, then presumably he will walk, won't he? >> well, i teach about these cases in my criminal law class and i write about them. the interesting thing is if he had done this all by himself, if there hadn't been a conspiracy charge, if they were charging him just with plotting or attempting to kill, he'd be acquitted because you can't convict somebody just for planning or plotting or wanting to do something. but once he talked to somebody else, and in this case they don't even know who it was, then it becomes a conspiracy. if they can prove there was an
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agreement between him and somebody else to actually do it -- now, they have to prove that both of the people really intended to do it, that it can't be a fantasy on the part of either of them, but if they can overcome that burden of proof, then they'll win the case. this is a really cutting edge issue because it poses the question when does the criminal law intrude when you have somebody. we can't ever be absolutely certain he would do it but we're very worried. do you want to make the kind of mistake that errs on the side of putting someone in jail who might not have done it or somebody in jail that would have really done it? >> right. let me bring in gloria. it seems to me even if he wasn't going to carry out these appalling crimes, the mere fact that he's put these women, including his wife and female friends, through this appalling psychological trauma, that they must be reading about this sickling plot that he was e-mailing people about, is that not in itself a crime? >> not really just to worry
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them, but having said that -- >> isn't that abuse to his wife? >> there are more details. he is googling. there is evidence that he looked up online, what's the best rope to tie somebody up with? how do you make chloroform? what's the recipe for cooking human flesh? these kinds of details will be pretty shocking to a jury. that he put real women, the photos of real women online and he was trying to find out the routine of some of these real women perhaps in order to carry out some of his scheme, these are the issues that the jury are going to have to grapple with. and i'm so glad that his wife picked up the baby and left and then turned over her computer and whatever she had to the authorities because i'm sure she was fearing that she was at risk of harm and really didn't know the person that she was married to. >> and the most disturbing thing
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of all is he's a new york policeman. i've got to leave it there. sorry, alan, very quickly. >> it really shows that when you have a doubt like this, you leave, you take action, presuming he'll do it, but when you have the criminal trial you may have to reverse the presumption and say when in doubt, you can't convict. >> they don't have to prove beyond any doubt whatsoever, just beyond a reasonable doubt. >> that's a fascinating case. we'll see how it all unravels. linda, gloria and alan, thank you very much. coming up, my exclusive interview with the real life hero of "argo." [ male announcer ] trophies and awards lift you up. but they can also hold you back. unless you ask, what's next? [ zapping ] [ clang ] this is the next level of performance. the next level of innovation.
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i want to thank, you know, jack mcneese and my brother and mom and dad and patrick weitzle and tony mendez who let us tell his story. >> i wanted to dedicate this to tony mendez. 20 years ago tony got people out of a very bad situation. and so i want to dedicate this to him. >> ben affleck accepting the oscars for "argo" about the plan
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to rescue six americans trapped in iran during the hostage crisis. joining me now is former cia agent whose basis of the film tells the story of "argo" pulled off the rescue. also joining us is tony's wife, former agent herself. and co-author. welcome to you all. let me start with you tony. one of the amazing moment that must have been for you. michelle obama read out the one word, "argo" and you realize your story had been made best picture at the oscars pl. tell me about how you felt in the moment. >> it was beyond belief. it was an emotional reaction was amazing. nothing i ever did in the service was ever as scary as that moment. but it also had the high as well as the low. >> for you sitting there, you have been through so much together. not just at the cia but this
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gestation period of this movie. must have been great emotional moment for the pair of you. >> it was five years pretty much from beginning to end. at the end, we cried when we won. we cried when chris won. we cried the first time we saw the movie. the whole thing has been an emotional roller coaster, but a good one. can't wait to see it again and see if we keep creep krooiing. it was something. it was something. it was unexpected. >> matt baglio, there's been con jek tur about how true the movie is. what's your reaction to the reaction so far? >> well, you know, it's tough. it's a movie. i think people understand it's not a documentary. hollywood movies tend to take liberties with the facts. there were some things omitted from the real story of "argo." one of the reasons tony and i
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wanted to write the book is to get the real story out there. the movie focuses more on tony's side of events. real life the canadians were instrumental in taking in the americans when nobody else would. that's also portrayed in the film. there are a couple things that are different in real life. but on the whole, i think emotionally the tone of the film, i think they did a pretty good job. >> tony, i want to play you a clip from my interview with jimmy carter last week when he directly got involved in this controversy and said he wished the canadians had gotten more credit. listen to this. >> the only thing i would say was that 90% of the tricks to the ideas and the plan was canadian. and the movie gives almost full credit to the american cia.
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and with that exception, the movie is very good. but ben affleck's character in the film was only in tehran a day and a half. and the main hero, in my opinion, was taylor who was a canadian ambassador who orchestrated the process. >> i think people would say that you're all heroes, everyone involved in this was a hero. it's not a question of who was more heroic, but did the president have a point? the canadians in the movie version didn't get quite enough of the credit they probably deserved? >> i think that's always true. sometimes the numbers trip you up and maybe we could say once again thank you to canada. certainly they were putting their life on the line for 86 days. actually, i stayed there four
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days, but if i had taken 86 days to execute the operation, i think i would have got fired. >> you're an absolute all-american hero. no problems with me. do you feel a little bit miffed that people are trying to mar the great moment by saying, come on, give canada more credit? do you think your husband deserves all this? >> i'm always ready to jump in there. it's a problem sometimes. i think there's plenty of heroism to go around. i'm perplexed by president carter's statement. when tony did this operation, like all operations, you file an extensive report afterwards. that report has been up on cia's website for 13, 15 years now. tony wrote it three weeks after the event. it's pretty much the ground truth of what happened. and anyone who reads that report and anyone can read that report would see that it was a couple months of hard work by a whole bunch of people getting ready to
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launch tony into tehran. so to dismisit saying a day and a half and 10% kind of, against the grain as far as i was concerned. there's plenty of heroism here. there was no one who didn't come out of this looking good. there was no bloodshed, there was no violence, it was a manner of whits and tony got him out. >> and tony, there is that suggestion that you were a bit fed up with ben affleck playing it it. >> actually the women would prefer george. ben was a good guy to work with. i was really concerned about was he good-looking enough to play me? >> one of the craziest stories i can ever remember brought to life in such a vivid way where the the real story was almost more crazy than the movie. thank you for joining me.
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and thank you, matt. and thank you, matt. and we'll be right back.ues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is!
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